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The UK Bans BMW Ad For Depicting Dangerous Driving

The UK Bans BMW Ad For Depicting Dangerous Driving

The Ultimate Driving Machine just got too ultimate for British television

When you consider the constant bombardment of advertising that we all must endure on a daily basis, it comes as no surprise that grabbing the attention of consumers is no easy feat. Bimmer thought it had the right recipe with this ad aimed at the U.K. market, but apparently, it violates the sensibilities of regulators by depicting “dangerous” and “irresponsible driving.”

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2016 BMW 320d ED Sport

2016 BMW 320d ED Sport

Diesel has had a hard time catching on in the world. It’s not that it isn’t fantastically efficient, or doesn’t offer stellar performance potential. Ask Gale Banks or Wayne Gerdes (both world record holders in top speed and fuel economy) about diesel’s performance potential. But the simple fact is that frugal isn’t sexy, and sex sells cars. Cars sell on big, loud and stupid awesome as much as anything else — and BMW at least seems to be slowly adapting to that reality.

The 3 Series has long been a Bimmer staple, and diesel models have been favored by those who want BMW chassis dynamics but care more about fuel economy than straight-line performance. The last 320d certainly did provide some of the best of both worlds, but it still wasn’t quite enough to take advantage of the carbon taxation incentives offered in the civilized world. A of couple years ago, BMW upped its efficiency game with the 320 EfficientDynamics package, which used a combination of efficiency refinements to drop the 320d down a tax bracket.

But in spite of saving the average European driver a whopping $87 a month in taxes alone, the 320d ED failed to impress in the sex appeal department. No more, though. As with most of life’s problems, this one proved easy to solve with little more than the addition of a snazzy body kit.

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BMW i8 Sold Out In The UK

BMW i8 Sold Out In The UK

The BMW i8 has become a sales hit in the UK. Actually, it’s become more than a hit if you consider reports that it’s already sold out and that there’s already a 10-month waiting list to get your hands on the hybrid sports car. British newspaper Telegraph is reporting that the demand for the i8 has become so incredible that customers are even willing to pay "any price" for the display car in BMW’s i showroom on Park Lane in London.

It’s a dramatic turn of fortune for BMW, which initially expressed fears that the i8 wouldn’t command the same amount of attention as it had hoped. It was a gamble to build it in the very beginning, especially when the German automaker made it clear that the i8 would only feature a rather petite, 1.5-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder engine and an electric motor, combining to produce a total output of 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.

But even the £95,000 ($135,925 here in the U.S. as of 8/12/2014) price tag of the i8 couldn’t dissuade buyers from putting in deposits for the car as early as 2012, even before BMW announced that production for the hybrid would ensue. BMW Park Lane sales manager even told the Telegraph that the i8 has become the "biggest conquest car I’ve known as a BMW salesman."

Something tells me that BMW enjoyed hearing those words. At least more so now that the decision and subsequent risk it took in producing the i8 is turning out to be a stroke of genius at this point.

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Video: Chris Harris' Cheap-O Rally Car

Video: Chris Harris’ Cheap-O Rally Car

Chris Harris is at it again, only this time he has snagged up a rather shoddy looking and running Land Rover, borrowed a clunky trailer with egg shells for tires, bought a £4,000 ($6,225) E30 BMW 325i “Rally car” (that’s at least what the dude that sold it to him called it), and attempted to try and get the rally car to a local track to test it.

Getting to the rally track turned out to be a task in itself, as it began with the cooling fan on his shoddy old 3.9-liter V-8-powered Land Rover crapping out and him repairing it in a not-so-correct-way that ended up causing it to pop fuses like crazy. Add on top of that the fact that this now hot-wired fan was constantly killing the battery and you have quite a situation.

On top of the crappy tow car, there is the fact that he borrowed a trailer from a friend that has tires that are magnets for punctures and replacements are not available at any tire shop. After popping and shredding two of the four tires on this trailer, Harris and his crew manage to get the £4,000 Bimmer to the track and beat the living hell out of it. The Bimmer took it well until Chris pushed it a little too far and spun it out coming out of a turn. Fortunately, the car was fine and the rallying continued. You can see it all of this in the above video.

The rally racing is only half of the fun of the video, as the trip getting there had plenty of interesting twists. To boot, the trailer from hell gave Chris and the boys another surprise on the way back home… Ah, the joys of budget racing!

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Chris Harris Drives His Unusual Dream Car: A 1986 BMW M5

Chris Harris Drives His Unusual Dream Car: A 1986 BMW M5

As all of automotive enthusiasts got introduced to cars we began falling in love with certain makes, models, and types of cars. For most of us, this happened at an early age. I was primarily raised around muscle cars, so it is easy to understand why I have an absolute infatuation with them. It also had to do with the fact that I learned about cars in the `80s and there weren’t many powerful cars to speak of in that era.

Chris Harris also learned about his love for cars through the 1980s, but obviously had more exposure to German cars than the average American youngster in the `80s, as his childhood favorite was the car that spawned the performance sedan market way back in the `80s. This epic, but little-known, ride is the 1986 BMW M5.

This car pumps out 286 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque from its 3.5-liter inline six cylinder and only 187 of them were ever imported into the U.K. with right-hand drive. While the 187 number is impressive by modern-day standards, the 286 ponies and 251 pound-feet are pretty average. Then again, the 1986 was chock-full of big V-8s that struggled to even push out 200 horsepower (see: 1986 Camaro Z/28, 1986 Mustang GT, and 1986 Corvette).

You can obviously tell that Chris loves driving this car, as he drifts it around a few turns and really gets into it. He makes it clear that the car is far from flawless, as the rear bumper trim is falling off, it has some dents, and the interior is just a little above average for its age, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Check out the above video to have a look and listen to this impressive machine. You also get a chance to gain just a little more respect for Chris Harris, as he shows that he knows exactly what BMW built this car to do.

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2013 BMW M3 M Performance Edition

2013 BMW M3 M Performance Edition

German automaker, BMW, is ratcheting up the promotion of their highly anticipated special edition M Performance models. Now, the British market has received a very cool M3 M Performance Edition - a model priced at £74,080 (about $115,000 at the current exchange rates).

The new BMW M3 M Performance Edition comes with an impressive list of standard equipment including: 19" M Y-spoke Matt Black alloy wheels, Dark Chrome exhaust, side gills and kidney surround, jet black bonnet intakes, carbon-fiber front splitters, high-gloss Shadow-line exterior trim, folding exterior mirrors, and sun protection glass.

Next to these impressive elements, the BMW also features a very impressive list of technologies free of charge (sort of speaking, considering the car’s price). Those technologies are adaptive headlights, DAB digital radio, a Harman/Kardon 13-loudspeaker system, BMW Professional Media Package, mobile application preparation, telephone USB audio interface and Internet.

Under the hood, the M3 keeps its usual 420 HP V8 engine combined with a standard seven-speed M DCT transmission.

UPDATE 05/31/2012: BMW has finally dropped the official details and images on their new M3 Performance Edition. Check it out!

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2013 BMW M5 M Performance Edition

2013 BMW M5 M Performance Edition

Talk about the ultimate tease, right?

Long rumored to be in the pipeline, we finally have our first evidence of the highly anticipated BMW M5 M Performance Edition, albeit one that only lasts 32 seconds.

This video, which was released by BMW, is effectively the teaser before the introduction of the M5 M Performance Edition. Not a lot of details were shared about the special edition models, except that we can expect it to come in three distinct color schemes with only 30 available models.

Do the math and that should equate to 10 models for each color.

The hope is that we find more information about the M5 F10-based M Performance Edition sooner than later. For now, enjoy this 32-second teaser of the special edition BMW model and wish more information to come from BMW as soon as possible.

The wait has been long and the anticipation for the M5 M Performance Edition has reached fever pitch.

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2012 BMW M3 Coupe Frozen Silver Edition

2012 BMW M3 Coupe Frozen Silver Edition

In 2011, the US market received a special edition M3 "Frozen Silver" Competition Edition and now it’s the Brits turn to get in on the Frozen paint job action. BMWwill be providing UK customers with a special edition M3 Coupe Frozen Silver Edition as part of BMW M GmbH’s 40th anniversary, and while US customers only got 40 units of the special M3, British customers will get 100 units to fight over.

On the exterior, the M3 Coupe Frozen Silver Edition features a Frozen Silver metallic paint and a new set of 19" matte black alloy wheels. These features are joined by a new exhaust, side gills, and kidney surrounds in carbon fiber and Jet Black bonnet intakes. The car’s ride has also been lowered by 10mm for an even sportier look. For the interior, BMW has added Black Novillo leather with contrast stitching and Palladium leather armrests and inserts, a new steering wheel sheathed in Alcantara, and plenty of carbon fiber to finish off the look.

Under the hood, the BMW M3 keeps its usual 420 HP V8 engine with power transferred to the road via the standard seven-speed M DCT transmission.

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2012 BMW M3 Limited Edition 500

2012 BMW M3 Limited Edition 500

The words "BMW M3" and "Special Editions" have really become synonymous with each other. So much so, in fact, that a new special edition M3 is being released in another part of the world a week before a similar special ed model was released in Singapore.

Taking the reins from the M3 Competition Edition is the M3 Limited Edition 500, a UK-exclusive release of the M3 Coupe and Convertible models that comes in three different color finishes: Imola Red, Mineral White, and Santorini Blue.

The Union Jack-inspired colors are complemented by the characteristic M-car signature details, including the kidney grille surround, side gills and twin double exhaust pipes that have been finished in dark chrome. On top of that, the models will also come with a high-gloss Shadowline exterior trim that’s further given some extra shine courtesy of a new set of 19" high-gloss black light-alloy wheels.

Inside, the M3 Limited Edition 500 comes packed with plenty of fancy trimmings, highlighted by an extended Novillo leather and contrast stitching on the sports seats and door panels. Each of the aforementioned colors will come with complementing interior stitching with the Imola Red models having Black leather and Mugello Red stitching, whereas the Mineral White models come with Fox Red leather with Black Stitching while the Santorini Blue model features Black leather with Tobago Blue stitching. Finally, each of the 500 available models will comes with a laser-cut edition designation that reads "One of 500" into the left-hand side of the inlay on the dashboard.

As for power, there aren’t any changes to the car’s 4.0-liter V8 engine that produces 420 horsepower. Prices vary between the coupe and convertible models with the former fetching a price of £55,690 ($88,784) and the latter carrying a sticker of £59,785 ($95,317).

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Video: Clarkson's Powered up DVD chooses BMW 1M and 535d as Best Cars of 2011

Video: Clarkson’s Powered up DVD chooses BMW 1M and 535d as Best Cars of 2011

Following up on the teaser trailers for Jeremy Clarkson’s Powered up DVD, Top Gear’s main man has released another video with a bit more action than the first two. In this video, Clarkson goes through some of his favorite cars of the year and his top pick is surprisingly not a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, even though a Gallardo LP 570-4 Spyder Performante did take third place on his preference list.

Instead, the British star has chosen one of the most amazing cars launched this year by BMW: the 1-Series M Coupe. Usually not a fan of BMW’s, Clarkson has appointed the 1M as the “Most Fun Car Of The Year.” The 1M pulled ahead of many of the classic favorites in the auto world, including the Ferrari FF and 458 Italia, the aforementioned Lamborghini Gallardo Performante, the Nissan Skyline, and the McLaren MP4-12C.

The new BMW 535d Touring M Sport also got a spot on his "favorites" list, grabbing the top spot as "2011 Car of the Year."

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2011 BMW Z4 sDrive20i and sDrive28i

2011 BMW Z4 sDrive20i and sDrive28i

BMW has chosen the British market to launch two new models for the Z4 line-up. The new Z4 sDrive20i and Z4 sDrive28i continue a tradition of over 80 years started by the 3/15 PA Wartburg Roadster back in 1930. It was a memorable car thanks to its setback glasshouse and front engine rear-wheel-drive configuration with the two seats positioned close to the rear axle.

The Z4 sDrive20i is powered by a four-cylinder engine with an output of 184 HP and 199 lb-ft of torque. It sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds and can hit a top speed of 146 mph. For the sDrive28i, the total output has been increased to 245 HP. It sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.

The Z4 sDrive20i will be offered in Space Grey metallic paintwork and will be equipped with 17" light alloy Star-spoke style 290 wheels and is priced at £29,480.00 ($40,172 at the current rates). The sDrive28i gets a Black Sapphire metallic paintwork with 18" Star-spoke style 325M light alloy wheels and is priced at £33,645.00 ($45,848 at the current rates).

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2011 BMW 3-Series Coupe and Convertible Sport Plus Editions

2011 BMW 3-Series Coupe and Convertible Sport Plus Editions

BMW UK is offering a new special edition 3-Series offered for both coupe and convertible models. Called Sport Plus Editions this model is based on the existing M Sport trim level and adds a package of styling and functional enhancements designed to highlight the dynamic qualities of the BMW 3 Series.

For the exterior this new package adds 19-inch double-spoke light alloy wheels, a new rear bumper with integrated body-colored diffuser and Jet Black mirror casings. For the coupe version there is also a rear lip spoiler. The interior will add Black Dakota leather with M-piping and Royal Blue stitching and aluminum "Edition" door sills to further distinguish these models from their regular M Sport counterparts.

Despite this new features, the BMW 3 Series Sport Plus Editions is only at £1000 ($1,600 at the current exchange rates) more expensive than the standard 3 Series Coupe and Convertible M Sport models. And if you will also pay another £750 ($1,200) you will also get an upgrade to BMW Professional Multimedia Navigation and an upgraded Harman Kardon speaker system.

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Video: Fifth Gear takes the BMW M3 GTS out for a spin on a wet track

Video: Fifth Gear takes the BMW M3 GTS out for a spin on a wet track

If you thought that women couldn’t hack it as test drivers for high-performance cars, you obviously haven’t met Vickie Butler-Henderson. One of the hosts of Fifth Gear is highly accomplished sitting behind the wheel of a sports car, having gotten her feet wet racing karts as a young damsel before moving on as an instructor at Silverstone and occupying her current gig as one of the foremost automotive journalists on the planet.

Suffice to say, her standards are very high and it takes a really good sports car to get her stamp of approval. Fortunately, the 2011 BMW M3 GTS is just that kind of car.

In this video, Ms. Butler-Henderson takes the M3 GTS for a spin around a wet race track. Putting her unquestioned talents to good use, the host of Fifth Gear shakes down the M3 GTS the only way she knows how.

At the end of all the hooning and spraying water, Ms. Butler-Henderson only had good praise for the car, describing it as one "amazing car".

If you get two thumbs up from an esteemed auto journalist like Vickie Butler-Henderson, then you must have done something really, really good.

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2011 BMW M3 Royal Edition

2011 BMW M3 Royal Edition

It seems that BMW is in a feisty little mood today as we may be looking at their second April Fool’s Day prank. Earlier we reported on the new M3 Pick-up which was an obvious prank and now the German automaker is using the popular M3 once again as the base of another special edition model. BMW UK has unveiled a special M3 Royal Edition as a tribute to the wedding of Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton.

The new M3 Royal Edition will be offered in a choice of three exclusive colors – Regal Red, Bridal White and Imperial Blue. It is exquisitely upholstered in Windsor White Dakota leather and features commemorative "Will" emblems. Yeah, that’s the best part. Good one BMW!

Joe Kerre, BMW Junior Operations Kindle Executive at BMW’s Forschungs und Narren division in Munich, spoke passionately about the latest M car: "The Royal Wedding has captured the people’s imagination so we thought that it would be a fitting tribute to offer an exclusive edition of one of our most majestic models. Given the Windsor’s German heritage, the BMW M3 Royal Edition should make for the ideal wedding gift."

UPDATE 04/04/2011: If you haven’t guessed already; this special edition was another April Fool’s joke by the German automaker. It seems BMW was feeling rather frisky this year!

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